Title: Grudge
Rating: R
Warnings: sexuality (sparks), mild violence (more in discussion), mild spoilers for TF:P episode "Operation: Breakdown"
Summary: Transformers: Prime. Breakdown knows this type of anger is unique to Knock Out. But luckily he knows a way to help him relax. Breakdown/Knock Out
Notes: ihaveartorsomething on Tumblr wanted BD/KO h/c with Breakdown doing the comforting. So, uh, here we go.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.


Usually, Knock Out was able to walk things off. Well, talk, more so. Damage he sustained he could easily laugh and shrug at. He didn't mind getting a little dirty sometimes, because if you play dirty, it'd only make sense.

But that was not to say Knock Out was a tolerant mech to all injuries or more... personal attacks. The Decepticon could take a rough housing, but if it scratched his paint job or ruined his trim or God help you, tarnished his newly waxed armor, there'd be no end to his rage and fury. Usually he kept it under wraps, mouth closed, but as soon as he was in his private quarters or medbay, that's when Knock Out let all Hell loose and spent an hour or more bitching about the crudeness of it all. Though sometimes that aroused temper would slip through the buffered cracks and be displayed to all the world; not as fashionable as the rest of him, unfortunately.

Breakdown was usually witness to these temper tantrums and pity fits. He never quite understood why his partner seemed okay with battle wounds, but not cosmetic disasters. He had learned sometime after joining Knock Out that it was easy to replace limbs or plating, but it required delicate, careful work to fix minor details. After Starscream had left the big gash across his chestplates, Knock Out didn't fix just the damaged area, oh no. He went and dressed himself up again, making everything brand new and perfect once more. It was a fragile process, and if you fucked up, those lovely tears and scratches and markings would clash and ruin everything.

But it wasn't entirely the superficial damage that hurt the most. Breakdown knew the smaller the wounds, the bigger the blow. Starscream had verbally castrated him in front of both his partner as well as the drones. All he got out of it was that now-gone scar. It was his pride that hurt the most and after Optimus Prime ripped off his door panel, he had been in a terrible mood the rest of the day.

Knock Out's prim and well kept chassis was the physical manifestation of his ego. Glowing red like a star in a pitch black night. Lose a limb, break a few joints, miss a couple flanks of plating - all fine. He'd been in battle, and he kicked ass. But you slap him across the face and even slightly scratch the surface, he would let loose the hounds of Hell.

Breakdown had wanted to accompany his partner for the welcoming ceremony. Apparently a Cybertronian pod, faction and signature unknown, was due to crash in Earth's atmosphere some miles outside Jasper, Nevada. Starscream had more pressing matters to attend to (probably bitch and moan about Megatron in his room), so he sent Knock Out and a few drones in his place.

Breakdown, on the other hand, was tasked with a few minor repairs around the Nemesis. Grunt work, really, something the Vehicons should be doing; but it was punishment, he knew this much. Megatron was rubbing his embarrassing incident with the humans in his one-eyed face. And Breakdown had absolutely no room to complain or defy the warlord's orders if he wanted to keep more than just his remaining optic.

It had been nearly two hours since Knock Out went to rendezvous with the Cybertronian ship. Breakdown had not received word since. Occasionally, his partner would comm him, usually to brag about victory in a fight or something he found interesting. Most of the time it was the latter, and most of the time, Breakdown did not care. He'd taken the alt mode of a vehicle simply because it was there and it suited him, not because he shared Knock Out's taste in alien cultures. Most of his responses were "uh huh" and "mmhmm" when his partner went on and on about this beautiful little lady Mercedes Benz.

The point was, Knock Out was never one to keep silent on solo missions. Not with Breakdown. He checked in at least once for every hour he was gone. Not to make sure his partner was worrying, but because he was all ready reporting in with his superiors at the time, figured, "hey, why not, thought I'd give you a buzz, and you should see this paint job, dear Primus, I'm gonna empty my tanks just looking at it."

The awkward silence didn't really kick in until the second hour was near its end. That's when Breakdown sat up from the re-wiring job to wonder. He was too far away from the bridge to hear any communication between his partner and Megatron. If he had even called in. Breakdown paused to humor the idea of Knock Out having lost his vocalizer in what might be a battle right now. The amusement wore off after he realized this was a serious matter.

That would be it. It was serious. Perhaps this required radio silence, no contact with outside forces. Breakdown sat on his knees, debating comming his friend. He went to open a line, paused. What if Knock Out was in hiding? Would calling him give his position away? Breakdown lowered his fingers from his helm, sighed. "No, no, got work..." he mumbled to himself, shaking his head. The notion of tracking down Knock Out in case he needed any help was very tempting. But so was not losing his head should Megatron find him disobeying orders.

Probably monitoring some Autobots, Breakdown considered, twitched as a frayed wire electrocuted him lightly. Yeah. He's fine.


III


"Breakdown!"

Breakdown nearly bashed his head into the ceiling, jumping to his feet quickly. He whirled around from the glitching viewscreen, just as the doors to the medbay hissed open. He widened his optic as Knock Out stepped inside, doors closing behind him. He was heaving, chassis practically shaking; Knock Out was banged up, dings and dents, scratches and tears, some of his armor bent back awkwardly. His pale face was smudged with dirt, one optic twitching like the corner of his frown, tight and showing clenched pearly denta.

"I take it that was no Decepticon pod," Breakdown smirked.

"Don't humor me," Knock Out spat. He stormed across the room, shoving past his partner. Breakdown blinked. He watched as the medic hauled a table of instruments over, hard and fast enough to send them rattling and nearly overboard. With the fury still bright as day in his optics, he punched on a drill, instantly taking it to one of his wounds.

Breakdown shuffled toward him. "Uh," he swallowed, "need any assistance?"

"No," the medic growled, shoving the drill much too deep into his arm, "I am fine."

"I mean, you got some pretty nasty - "

"Do you think I am not aware!" Knock Out snarled. Breakdown raised his hands in harmless surrender. The red 'con mumbled obscenities and curses under his breath as he worked his arm's hinges back into place.

For a few minutes, neither mech spoke. The noises of the drill and laser scalpel swallowed the silence. In states such as these, Knock Out was more whiny and exhausted, complaining more than raging over his wounds as he made repairs. And he was always happy to accept Breakdown's hand. But this - this was different. This was don't-touch-the-scratch-you'll-make-it-worse! sort of fury. The kind reserved for those superficial cuts and hard blows to his ego.

Usually Breakdown was respectful of his superior. He kept quiet when asked. He listened without complaint. And yet there was something more to his rage than met the eye. In fact, he'd venture the physical wounds were nothing to Knock Out. It was something that ruined his immense pride, which was worse off than any beating his chassis could take.

Breakdown knew, however, sometimes nudging, in cases like these, would help Knock Out release the rest of his steam until he was finally cool again. He could live with that; it was more uneasy to be around the medic when he was silently brewing in his fury. The larger 'con stepped forward, placed a hand on the table. Knock Out kept his burning optics on his knees as he examined a sheet of torn metal.

Breakdown picked up the welder, turned it on. Knock Out looked up, features softening only a little, as the machine was held to him. "Here you go," the larger mech said, smiled.

The medic just snorted and snatched the welder up. He said nothing, showed no sign of gratitude as he bitterly put the metal piece back into place. Breakdown looked the mech over, close now to see the extent of the damage. Bent door panel, flat tire, torn plating along his hips, dents on his legs, armor missing from the edge of his heel. "Hey," he smirked, "at least your face didn't take any hits."

Knock Out might have pitched the welder at his face. He glared up at his partner, head still low. It was an order for him to shut up or else. And Breakdown complied, nodding and clearing his throat against a fist. He had not anticipated, however, Knock Out actually responding.

"Laser scalpel. A6."

Breakdown nodded and retrieved what he was told. Knock Out took it from his hand, not as rough this time. He trimmed off a few flakes of metal and paint, switched it off before dropping it back in Breakdown's hand. There was a bare patch, a perfect square, and the medic glared at it with contempt. He'd be up all night applying a full body paint job just because he got one little bald spot. Breakdown would probably not be recharging anytime soon.

"Pop-2. No-make it... 4." Knock Out shuddered, disgusted.

Breakdown knew those were the big guns. Used for the worst of dents. Silently he turned the instrument on; his partner held out his hand to take it, but instead Breakdown forced up one of his legs and applied the Pop-4 to the first and worst dent. Knock Out seemed surprised, momentarily, before scowling. Instead of kicking the large 'con back, he picked up the drill beside him and took it to his hips, forcing back on loosened plating.

Again, neither spoke a word. Ten minutes of hissing, spitting and growling equipment at work. Knock Out was still drilling, Breakdown just starting on fixing the second dent just along his calf. And what felt like an eternity was only eleven minutes before the larger Decepticon's curiosity could just not keep quiet any longer.

"So," Breakdown inhaled, "want to - "

"No, I don't want to talk about it," Knock Out growled. Breakdown nodded idly, massaged around the dent. It was a total of thirty seconds before the medic frowned and exclaimed, "It was only one Autobot that took them out! One slagging Autobot! Do you know how useless these drones are? Do you! My Primus, I'd get better aide from a Cassetticon!"

Breakdown looked up. "Autobot, huh? Too bad," he sighed. "Can't say I'm disappointed. Place is gettin' crowded now that Airachnid's spun her web here. Everywhere, mind you."

"It took the Autobot two kliks - two kliks - to finish the first drone off," Knock Out spat. He practically threw the drill onto the table. Breakdown, silent and knowing, offered him the welder again. As it switched on, he yelled over its loud humming, "It took even less for him to finish off the other two! I was so ashamed, I wanted to beat my helm into a rock and tell myself to just wake up all ready!"

The second dent gave a loud pop before it was smooth metal again. "Yeah, well," the larger mech mumbled, moving to the third, "I would have come with you, but Lord Megatron's still harboring a grudge against me." He snorted. "Got me doing janitorial work like those three Seekerlets Shockwave has back home."

"You think you had it bad?" Knock Out frothed. He placed one hand over his chest, the other working on his hip. Breakdown wanted to tell him, yeah, he had it pretty piss-poor right now. "I nearly lost my aft out there! Literally! It was nearly torn off, Breakdown! Can you imagine your aft being torn off, Breakdown, can you?"

"I'd rather not," the larger 'con replied, repressing his smirk. "Musta been a pretty tough Autobot."

Knock Out's demeanor seemed to... soften. Something morose, something serious. "Not really," he said, curtly. "They had an advantage, that's all." He twirled a wrist. "Besides, not long after, the fem' and your bumbling, clumsy friend came along and it was three against one. I held up my own, but not without the consequences, I suppose. The latter two did 90% of the damage."

"Pretty slagging good job for taking on someone like Bulkhead by yourself," Breakdown flattered, "he's stupid, but he's strong, I'll give him that."

"If I weren't a Decepticon, I'd call foul," Knock Out blanched.

The larger 'con chuckled, fourth dent popped back into place. "You say this new 'bot had an 'advantage'?" he conversed. "What was it?"

There was no response. Breakdown paused, glanced up. Knock Out was glaring down at the welding on his door, almost through it. As if he were contemplating the worst kind of revenge he could think of. This wasn't good, then. It took the one-eyed 'con a moment to realize... Oh, God.

This rage. This was no ordinary rage.

This was a special type reserved for only one person. Knock Out hated no one, because that would imply he cared in some twisted way. The mech was hardly one to get angry over another (at least for long), because he simply did not want to waste time and energy over people who mattered very little to him. Starscream could bounce insults on him all day then literally kick his aft, but he would not hate the Seeker. No, he'd pity the bastard, even be amused at his silly, childish temper. And Autobots were enemies, but not on an emotional level - truly, the only reason he was proud of killing anyone of them was because it boosted his ego. Not because it was a filthy, spark bleeding Autobot.

But there was one exception. Breakdown had rarely seen this dark side of seething hatred from his partner. He'd been working with him for centuries, and it had only reared its ugly head once or twice. Easy to set off as well, but hardly the topic came up; he'd covered any connection with the mech for it to be mentioned. Had he not been so meticulous in severing all the ties, Knock Out would never hear the end of this betrayal. Good fodder for taunting, even, for someone like Starscream.

Breakdown was shocked. Awed, even. Of all the Autobots to arrive on this mudball planet, it had to be the one and only mech that Knock Out absolutely loathed. "You're... you're kidding," he sputtered, CPU unable to completely process this shocking news.

Knock Out glowered. "I would not make light of such... troublesome matters."

"But..." Breakdown swallowed. His hands had frozen from the alarm, leaving the remaining dents untouched. The medic was practically beating out his repairs now. "... I mean, it's just..."

"Primus's way of showing appreciation," Knock Out chortled very bitterly. He shoved the drill in a little too hard again. "But he won't be around long. I'll see to that."

"I get what you mean by 'advantage' now."

"Yes, well, it caught me off guard. It won't happen again," the medic scowled.

Breakdown thought a moment. "Did he... say anything?" he muttered.

"We exchanged a few words," Knock Out smirked, "none of which were pleasant." He forced the welder hard on his shoulder. "He doesn't seem to have changed. The drones - any low level Autobot could handle them. He would have lost his head if not for his advantage and the back-up."

"He never was much of a warrior anyway from what you told me," the larger 'con snorted, "I'm sure once you get him alone, you'll have no problem taking him out."

Knock Out smiled wickedly. "Oh, I had started forgetting about that little fantasy," he sneered, "but now it's fresh in my processor and the things I'll do to him before I offline the little glitch..." He shivered. "It'll be my greatest, Breakdown."

Breakdown smiled. The radiance was returning, even if it was tinted with bitterness and thirst for revenge. "Worse than that number you did on that pretty Autobot femme back on Cybertron?" he snickered.

"Far worse."

"Her cries - I don't think anything can compare to that melody," Breakdown hummed. He ran fingers down the half-repaired limb. Knock Out grinned again, but for an entirely different reason. Something much more... positive. "Music to my audios. Didn't think you were a musician as well as an artist."

"I can play a few cords," Knock Out smirked. He reached over, let his fingers brush gently beneath his partner's chin. "It'll be my finest piece. I'll have you dancing yourself into hypnosis with its sadistic, melancholic rhythm."

Breakdown purred, wrapped fingers over the medic's knees. "So, you'll let me watch?"

"Of course!" Knock Out pulled him up closer, bent forward. Only a few inches of space separated their grinning, smug faces. "Where would I be without my handy partner in crime?"

"High praise from you."

Knock Out let his chin go, reclined back. "I am afraid you will not be able to participate in the session," he said, stretching and cracking his long, languid fingers, "this one is personal, you see. You're fortunate enough to watch alone."

Breakdown stood, leaned forward. "It's a great honor," he purred, sliding hands forward. He moved to loom over his smaller partner, forcing the smiling medic back. "I'll cherish every little moment and every shriek and energon splatter."

Knock Out was nearly flat on the berth, propped up on an elbow. His optics, once inflamed and furious, now heavy and thick. He reached up, caressed his partner's eye patch. "He has the same yellow optics as you, you know. If I'm feeling charitable, I might give you one."

"Would it not bother you?" Breakdown wiped smudge from the medic's face.

Knock Out stretched out an arm, let it rest along Breakdown's shoulder. "It only makes sense," he cooed. He pulled the larger 'con down on top of him, flat against the berth. "The only mech I loathe, unwillingly sacrificing an optic for the only mech I value." That was the closest to an 'I love you' Breakdown would get. He shuddered, as if the words had been something seductive and spark gripping. "It would not serve as a reminder, no. At least, not in the negative sense."

"I'd usually turn down Autobot parts, but..." Breakdown hooked one arm beneath his partner's knee, bringing it up. With a purr, the medic's chestplates twitched, opening a mere inch. His own plating shifted aside, showing just a sliver of the chamber within. "It might make a nice trophy. Better than a slagging patch, I guess."

"You're tempting me to let you carry out the dirty work," Knock Out said, his fingers playing against the opening plating. One slipped inside, caressed the pulsing chamber.

Breakdown pressed his weight down, delicate but with enough force that made his partner's engine give a soft purr. "If you'd like," he said. His plating opened beneath the fingers' ministrations.

Knock Out's chassis went hot. "Breakdown," he whispered, digits curling around the chamber, "tell me... What will you do to him?"

The larger 'con groaned. Dirty talk, then. "One plate at a time," he whispered, leaning into the touch. Knock Out smiled, palmed the chamber. "Head to toe. Slowly, peeling back. Dermal, first, go layer by layer." He shifted against the smaller mech. "But not before I give him a one over. Just enough to leave him aching with torment. He won't be numb, no, so he'll have to feel every moment of his skin being flayed from his infrastructure."

Knock Out's cheekplates warmed. "Oh? And... If he offlines?" His fingers kneaded against the chamber.

"Force him back, of course," Breakdown snorted, biting his bottom lip, "in the worst way possible."

The medic wiggled. "Then what will you do?"

"Once he's stripped down to his bare bones, cut and slice every sensitive wire, cord and nodule," the larger 'con hummed. He watched Knock Out's chestplates click and quiver with delight. "Every single tendon pulled and twisted before they're torn apart. String him up like a grotesque puppet." Breakdown nuzzled his face against his partner's throat. "Just like your workshop back in Kaon."

Knock Out's vents fluttered air. "O-Oh?"

"Let the drones play with his remains, pass him around like a toy," Breakdown whispered. Knock Out's hand was shaking as it pawed his spark chamber. "Once he's been broken, drag him through the Nemesis, show him off like a prize turbo-fox. He liked turbo-fox hunting, if I remember right." He worked his hands up and down the medic's hips. "Let the Autobots see him in all his ruin and desperation, let them take in the sight of his destruction and deterioration. Maybe I'll make him bow and kiss your pedes as he begs for mercy? He is, after all, a whiny little glitch. He'll cry."

Knock Out wrapped his arms around his neck. "So unwise, becoming an Autobot," he snorted. "For someone who wanted to return to the high life, he decided to take the route of tragedy. He could have got back everything he lost, but instead the coward ran to the only people who would put up with his pathetic aft."

"He's too weak to be a Decepticon," Breakdown insisted. His optic twitched. "You're superior. Not only in strength, but wit and skill." He thrust against the smaller mech's body. "And once I'm done with his raggedy chassis, you'll make the music then. You'll get into that sad little CPU of his, manipulate all his sorrows and emotions until he's nothing but a shadow. Alive but hardly."

Knock Out groaned loudly. "Oh, but not for a while; it must be a slow process," he murmured, "I can't have him becoming an empty shell so quickly. I'll want to play for a while; wouldn't be much fun if he's too fragged up to care or feel anymore."

"Of course, of course," Breakdown chuckled. The heat was rising, becoming almost unbearable. He kept his edge, however, continued grinding into the half-repaired body beneath him. "He'll wish he remained invisible. The only reason he has that power is so he can easily flee from battles." The medic was practically melting into his words. "Coward. Sniveling little nostalgic sparkling."

"Good for nothing," Knock Out heaved. His chestplates rattled. "Never was, never will be. No talent besides throwing parties to bloat his useless, untalented ego. Now he can't do even that; all his friends gone and deactivated."

"When you ain't got no skills, that's all you can really do." Breakdown licked away another streak of dirt on the medic's face. "You, me... We're gonna make him fall. Fall to ruins like that city he oh so loved."

Knock Out giggled, offlining his optics. He could hardly keep going. "Break him into shards of crystal!" he laughed. "His glass spark will be nothing but broken pieces beneath my feet!"

The smaller mech gave Breakdown's chamber one hard squeeze, and finally sent him reeling over the edge. Breakdown grit his denta, pushed down against Knock Out. The red 'con was cackling like a mad man, as if his victory was ensured. Knock Out choked, cried out as his body arched, feeling the energy swell and burst from his cracked chamber. Breakdown held him tightly, tendrils of energy exchanged between their just barely touching forms.

The two settled, vents and fans panting and cycling hot air. They heaved sluggishly against one another, Knock Out's smile wide on his tired face. "You really know how to cheer a mech up, partner," he crooned, stroking the back of his partner's helm.

Breakdown chuckled against the side of his neck. "You're so dull when you're in a bad mood."

"I could always saw off your hands instead."

"Save that for your brother."

Brother. The word felt foreign, wrong as Knock Out considered it. As much as he denied and disowned the Autobot, he was still his brother. But he never considered him a brother - not even before the war. He was too weak and docile; it sickened Knock Out that they were related. But that was it; they shared creators, nothing more. He was nothing without his riches and parties and turbo-fox hunts and two-faced friends. He'd only made it this far into the war due to his power of invisibility, lying low like some frightened, helpless robo-mouse.

Knock Out smirked. "I never thought I'd be excited to see you again, dear brother Mirage."


THE END

I dunno, I just like the idea that Knock Out and Mirage are related. I mean, classy little bastards; the red and blue schemes compliment each other like fire and water.

This was written/beta'd rather late, so there's probably lots of errors. I'm tiiiired.